This research is being done to determine how rehabilitation therapy can improve arm function after nerve transfer surgery to treat spinal cord injury. Nerve transfer surgery is often an outpatient procedure that involves cutting branches of one nerve and suturing them to another. This is a meticulous procedure that takes several hours to perform, and is not typically associated with post-operative pain. The surgery will be conducted by our renowned partner and Director of the Massachusetts General Paralysis Center, Dr. Justin Brown. He has performed some of the first nerve transfers in spinal cord injury in the United States and now has performed more than 50 such procedures, many with excellent outcomes. All participants will receive 18 sessions of hand and arm rehabilitation one year after the surgery at Burke Neurological Institute. Each session will last about 1 hour.
Participants will receive up to $2,400 to cover study related expenses such as travel and lodging. The entire study from start to finish will comprise of at least 25 visits over 17 to 20 months; this includes the initial screening visit in addition to the 18 therapy sessions as well as evaluations conducted before and after the surgery and therapy sessions.
If you have had a spinal cord injury, or know someone who has had a spinal cord injury, but do not qualify for this study, we ask that you still contact us. We offer other programs that you or someone you know may be eligible for.